Posted: 12:02 am ET
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On May 19, President Obama announced Rena Bitter as his nominee for Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The WH released the following brief bio:
Rena Bitter, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a position she has held since 2013. Previously, Ms. Bitter served in the Department of State’s Operations Center as Director from 2010 to 2012 and Deputy Director from 2009 to 2010. Ms. Bitter was Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan from 2006 to 2009, and Chief of the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit in the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in London, United Kingdom from 2003 to 2005. She was a Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow in London from 2002 to 2003. Before that, Ms. Bitter served as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of State from 2001 to 2002 and on the Department’s Executive Secretariat Staff from 2000 to 2001. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1994, Ms. Bitter has also served at posts in Colombia and Mexico.
Ms. Bitter received a B.S. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
If confirmed, Ms. Bitter would succeed career diplomat, Dan Clune, who was appointed chief of mission to the US Embassy in Vientiane in September 2013. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is one of the 42 countries in the world where we haven’t had a political appointee. Ever.
As of this writing. the Certificates of Competency required under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 for submission to the SFRC and made available online by State/HR for every nominee since 2014 have yet to include the President’s nominees of May 18. Once the certificates are available, they will be posted here: http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/coc/index.htm.